AcuTemp builds out a global cold-chain distribution network

November 22, 2011
Pharmaceutical Commerce, Pharmaceutical Commerce - November/December 2011,

Supplier of active and passive containers lines up regional providers in Asia, Middle East and South America

AcuTemp Systems (Dayton, OH) is but one of dozens of suppliers of containers for delivering temperature-sensitive drugs and biological products, but the company is making aggressive moves to expand its reach—and doing so in a manner different from most container providers. Partly as a result of its technologies for both active and passive containers, and partly as a business practice, the company is setting up regional transportation service providers around the world. “We’re finding a great fit with countries that are looking to enhance local infrastructure to complete delivery of cold chain products to end users,” says Paul Kovarovic, newly appointed VP of business development at the company.

Recently announced partnerships include Wael Pharmacy in Bahrain; QualiChain Consultoria Industrial in Brazil; Tareq Co. in Kuwait; United Horizon Co. in Iraq; Samir Group in Saudi Arabia; Y.H. Biotek in Taiwan; and three in India: Care Biosystems (Mumbai); JJ Biotek (Bangalore); and Systems and Services (New Delhi). From a manufacturer perspective, getting pallet-sized loads of product into these countries is not extraordinarily challenging, but going the next step, to deliver product locally, can be. “Some of our systems can be solar-powered, which is an especially attractive offering for some of the hottest regions in the world,” says Kovarovic.

AcuTemp has extensive experience in supplying containers for blood collection and delivery—which occurs in-country as well as being an exported product. Its product line includes passive (gel pack-based) containers as well as battery-powered active ones, and these latter containers are the ones that are proving adaptable to local conditions. The local agents typically acquire a stock of the containers, and then reuse them for a period of years, as opposed to single-use passive containers. AcuTemp is also a j.v. partner in CSafe, which leases an RKN-sized active pallet shipper for air freight. That business is also expanding its network of regional service centers, adding San Juan, PR, and Singapore to its network.